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Kidney Transplant & Fertility – What you need to know?

Kidney transplant also known as renal transplant is the transplant of kidney in patients with end stage disease. It is a medical procedure to replace a diseased kidney with a new kidney from a deceased person or a living donor. 

Gleneagles Global hospital is the best kidney transplant hospital in India. It offers the best kidney transplant and advice after kidney precautions for fertility in women and men. 

Kidneys are two bean shaped sized organs located on each side of the spine just below the rib cage. Each kidney is approximately the size of a fist. The main function of the kidney is to filter and remove waste, fluid and minerals from the blood by producing urine. When the kidney loses its ability to filter waste, harmful fluids and toxins accumulate in the body which raises high blood pressure and result in end stage kidney disease. End stage kidney disease occurs when the kidney has failed 90% to function properly. 

Following are the common reasons for kidney disease:

  • Diabetes
  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • Polycystic kidney disease
  • Chronic glomerulonephritis (scarring of the kidney)

The average kidney transplant cost in India is somewhere between 5-6 lakhs and after the surgery, it costs around 15,000 a month for after care. 

Kidney Transplant & Fertility – What you need to know:

Fertility is the ability to have a child. It is said that fertility is increased in both men and women after kidney transplant. If you’re thinking about conceiving, then do bring it in the notice of your transplant team. There are many things to consider while having to conceive. Some of the frequently asked questions in relation to kidney with fertility has been answered below:

Can a woman who has a kidney transplant conceive a baby?

Yes, a woman who had a kidney transplant can surely have a baby. 

If you had a kidney transplant, you are likely to have a menstrual cycle and good health. Therefore, getting pregnant and having a child is for sure possible. But it is advised not to get pregnant for at least one year even if you have stable kidney function because some medicines that you take after kidney transplant may affect the developing of the baby. 

In some cases, pregnancy is not recommended because there is a high risk of complication to the baby or yourself. Another risk may be the risk of new transplanted kidney failure. 

You must seek advice from your transplant team if you’re thinking about conceiving. Your healthcare provider might make some changes in the medications which is safe for you and the developing baby to become pregnant. It is advised to use contraceptive pills until your healthcare team has agreed that it’s safe for you to have a baby. 

How could an unborn child be affected by medicines taken by transplant patients?

To prevent kidney from rejecting the “foreign” kidney, doctors prescribe immunosuppressants (anti-rejection medicines) which are to be taken for the rest of your lives. Many anti-rejection medicines are safe to be taken for the mother and the baby. However, some immunosuppressants may create problems in pregnancy and the developing baby. These medicines need to be stopped at least prior 6 weeks or more before becoming pregnant. Your doctor will keep an active watch on you and tell if it’s safe for you to have a baby. 

If you had a kidney transplant and looking to get pregnant then you must discuss it in detail with your transplant team. Your doctor might want you to switch on to different anti-rejection medicines. 

Can a man who is on dialysis or  with a kidney transplant have children?

Yes, a man who is on dialysis or who has a kidney transplant can surely father a child. If you are trying to father a child for more than a year, then please talk with your transplant doctor. A routine fertility check may be of great help. Some medicines after kidney transplant may lower the ability to father a child. If you have been through kidney transplant and looking to father a child, please talk with your doctor. 

For transplant patients, what form of birth control is recommended?

Transplant patients who are sexually active and have not undergone menopause must use contraceptive pills to prevent pregnancy. Your healthcare team can help you with the right medicine to prevent pregnancy. Many women who have high blood pressure should not use oral contraceptive pills since it may raise blood pressure and increase chances of blood clots. You may make use of condoms, diaphragm, and sponge to control birth. 

Last words:

Pregnancy may cause some problems after kidney transplant. Successful pregnancy is more likely when your transplanted organ is functioning well. The success rate of kidney transplant in India is among the highest and the current success rate is around 90% with that of other countries in the world. 

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